Policy 715




    I.             PURPOSE

    The purpose of purchasing is to support the education program of the district by providing necessary supplies, equipment and services. District purchases must be made in accordance with state and federal laws for public purpose that benefits the public and is directly related to the school district’s mission to education students.


    II.            PURCHASING

    The School Board directs the Superintendent, or designee, to develop and maintain an efficient purchasing system for all supplies, equipment and materials in accordance with state and federal laws and accepted purchasing practices. Purchasing transactions will be authorized on properly approved invoices, signed purchase orders or administrated by procurement cards (P-Card) through the Finance and Business Services Department. Purchasing or the incurrence of obligations on behalf of the School District may only be made within the framework of the School Board adopted budgets.


    The School Board believes in the philosophy of community partnerships which includes establishing effective working relationships with businesses located within the School District. The District will first consider, local partnerships if quality, cost, and service are comparable.


    The Superintendent, Chief Human Resources and Administrative Officer, Assistant Superintendent and/or Executive Director of Special Programs are authorized to approve and sign contracts.



    Employees, including School Board members, who are in a position to make or influence purchasing decisions, shall actively avoid the appearance of or the fact of conflicting interest:


    •     They shall discharge their duties without favor and shall refrain from engaging in any outside matters of financial or personal interest incompatible with the impartial and objective performance of their duties.



    •     They shall not, directly or indirectly, seek or accept personal gain which would influence, or appear to influence, the conduct of their official duties.


    •     They shall not use public property or resources for personal or political gain.



    Legal References:  Minn. Stat. § 15.435 (Airline Travel Credit)

    Minn. Stat. § 10A.071, Certain gifts by lobbyists and principals prohibited Minn. Stat. § 123B.52, Contracts

    Minn. Stat. § 331A.03, subd.3, Alternative dissemination of bids and request Minn. Stat. § 471.345, Uniform Municipal Contracting Law

    Minn. Stat. § 471.895, Certain gifts by interested persons prohibited Uniform Grant Guidance 2 CFR Part 200




    ADOPTED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION:         November 21, 2016

715.1 Administrative Guidelines



    I.             PREFERRED VENDORS

    A.     Office and Classroom Supplies – Office and classroom supplies should be ordered from the District approved supplier.


    B.     Inventoried Supplies – Paper, copier staples, and miscellaneous supplies should be ordered from Central Services.


    C.     Furniture – Furniture purchases should be ordered through the Purchasing Department in accordance with District standards utilizing District approved joint purchasing contracts as applicable.


    D.     All Other Purchases – All other purchase should be made with a purchase order, properly approved invoice or district-issued procurement card (according to the Procurement Card Procedures Manual). These purchases must be approved by the appropriate individual.


    II.            SALES TAX

    A.                 The District is tax-exempt therefore all eligible purchases using district funds shall be made using the district’s tax identification number or tax exempt status. The District will not approve or reimburse the payment of Minnesota sales tax.


    B.     Exceptions (Taxable Items) including but not limited to:

    -          Lodging, parking, transportation, airfare, prepared food not served on a school campus.

    -          Purchases made for and with student activity funds are taxable.


    C.     Purchases for resale and fundraising are non-taxable.



    The superintendent delegates purchase authority to building principals and program directors. These individuals are budget holders and are ultimately responsible for ensuring purchases made are allowable and appropriate.



    Purchases, including but not limited to, furniture, technological equipment, and fixtures should meet District approved standards.



    A.   Employees, including School Board members, who are in a position to make direct purchases, recommend purchases, services and sources or supply and/or negotiate with suppliers and contractors may not do the following:


    -          Receive or solicit from such suppliers, sources and/or contractors, directly or indirectly, for him or herself or anyone with whom he or she has family, business or financial ties, anything of economic value as a gift, gratuity, loan, entertainment or favor, including gift certificates, credits or bonus points which can be exchanged for merchandise, frequent flyer miles, etc. This prohibition shall not apply to the gift exceptions specifically enumerated in Minnesota Statute 471.895, subd. 3.

    -          Use their position to influence district decisions for personal gain;

    -          Perform any work or service for remuneration for a supplier or contractor except as disclosures of conflict of interest are properly made

    -          Give preferential treatment to friends, relatives, or current or former district employees, or

    -          Disclose information about bids or other confidential matters which would compromise the district’s ability to obtain the best price.


    B.   Any district employee, including any School Board member, who knows, or may reasonably be expected to know, that he or she, or his or her spouse, has a material financial interest in any transaction in which the district is or may be concerned, shall disclose such interest to the superintendent and disqualify himself or herself from participating in or influencing that transaction.


    C.   Code of Conduct


    -          As representatives of the School District, all employees are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner, maintaining high standards of integrity and the use of good judgment.

    -          Employees are expected to be principles in their business interactions and act in good faith with individuals both inside and outside the School District community.

    -          The Code of Conduct shall govern the performance, behavior and actions of the agency, including Board members, employees, directors, volunteers, or agents who are engaged in any aspect of procurement, including – but not limited to – purchasing goods and services; awarding contracts and grants; or the administration and supervision of contracts.


    D.   No employee, officer, director, or volunteer of the School District shall participate in the selection, award or administration of a bid or contract supported by Federal funds if a conflict of interest is real or apparent to a reasonable person.


    E.   Violations of the policy will be deferred to the Human Resources Department and appropriate disciplinary action will be determined by the Human Resources Department.


    F.    The District’s employees, officers, directors, or volunteers shall neither solicit nor accept gratuities, gifts, consulting fees, trips, favors or anything having a monetary value in excess of that which is stated in Minnesota Statute 471.895, from a vendor, potential vendor, or from the family or employees of a vendor, potential vendor or bidder; or from any party to a sub- agreement or ancillary contract.


    VI.          PROCUREMENT


    A.   The function of purchasing is to serve the educational program of the district by providing the necessary supplies, equipment and services. All purchases shall be made competitively, without prejudice and with the intent of seeking the maximum educational value for every dollar expended.


    B.   Competitive Contracting

    The total expense of a purchase or contract must be accurately estimated to determine the correct procurement method. The total expense of a lease contract is the sum of all payments required to satisfy the contract in full.


    a.       Competitive contracting practices must be used for all district expenditures or contracts with an estimated value greater $25,000. Expenditures or contracts estimated to exceed $25,000 but not to exceed $100,000 require two or more written quotations. Expenditures or contracts estimated to exceed $100,000 require sealed bids, School Board approval, and a formal written contract signed by the Superintendent or designee.


    b.      A state contract (Cooperative Purchasing Venture) or other joint powers contract MAY be used in place of bids or quotes for expenditures of any value. If a contract is estimated to exceed $25,000, options available through the state’s cooperative purchasing venture MUST be considered before purchasing through another source. Other exceptions to the bid and quotation requirements of this regulation may be made if authorized by law (e.g., certain professional services, real estate and commercial insurance).


    c.       Federal Funds – purchases made using federal resources between $3,000 to $24,999, (i.e. “small purchases”) price or rate quotations must be obtained from at least two qualified sources and can be obtained in writing, orally, vendor price list on website, or online search engine (documentation of price must be retained by purchaser).


    C.   Non-Competitive Contracting


    Non-competitive contracting is allowed under the following circumstances:


    -          An item is available only from a single source.

    -          An emergency does not allow a delay.

    -          Competition is determined inadequate after solicitation.

    -          Authorized by a federal agency.

    -          In all instances noted, the School Board will approve all contracts through its normal course of business and in the case of an emergency, at the next regularly scheduled meeting.


    D.   Federal Awards Procurement


    In accordance with the Uniform Guidance for Federal Awards, the District has elected to implement the new procedures standards starting July 1, 2017.